Friday, March 7, 2008

Frugal Friday Round-Up - Clean House, Clean Mind

My topic du jour for today is Spring Cleaning! I know when I clean and organize my house I always feel that I have more "room" to focus and to live. Clearing and cleaning my house clears and cleans my mind. So, to prepare myself, I've scoured (hah!) other blogs for the best on cleaning advice, planning, execution, strategies, materials and more for my assault on my house next weekend.

Fly Lady has some good strategies for some small steps I can take before this next weekend. I can do the 27 Fling Boogie and the Hot Spot Fire Drill for some quick forays into the battlefield without a full engagement.

This is a post that I've lifted wholesale right off of MomAdvice called Organizing for Spring Cleaning which I found on the Frugal Hacker blog about cleaning supplies and materials. What I like about it is that most of them are natural cleansers. Normally, I wouldn't include the entire post, but, for my own benefit, I want to have this list of cleansers available for reference at my convenience!

Last week we discussed some of our organizational hurdles and the challenges with getting our home into gear for company. I really understood and felt the same way when many of you shared that your real challenge was getting over your own perfectionism and feeling like your home is not as worthy as other people’s homes for doing any entertaining. I have often felt this way myself so I can completely relate and I am trying to challenge myself to stop doing this so that I can enjoy more time with loved ones, instead of using my home as an excuse to not entertain. My homeowner projects and perfectionisms need to stop holding me back from opening my door to others.

We will kick off this series by gathering up and getting our cleaning supplies ready for the cleaning challenges ahead! I thought we could start by peeking into my caddy of tools that I use for cleaning:

All-Purpose Cleaner- Mix together two tablespoons of mild dishwashing soap and two cups of water in a spray bottle and give it a shake. Use these anywhere that you would use a commercial all-purpose spray. This cleaner is particularly great for countertops, bathroom surfaces, and high chairs. This cleaner is also great for wiping down your plastic outdoor furniture and getting it ready for the spring season.

Glass Cleaner- Mix together one part white vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Spray this solution on your mirrors and windows. Just swipe until you have a nice streak-free finish.

Scouring Scrub- Mix one cup Borax, one cup baking soda (or you can use washing soda), and ¼ cup salt. This can be used in your dishwasher to clean your dishes (only one tablespoon is needed) or this can be a great scrubbing agent to add to your toilets, tub, and sinks to make them gleaming white again.

WD-40- Sounds strange, but this is always never far from me. WD-40 helps remove any sticky residue lurking in my home and I use it constantly to remove crayon marks in our house (two year old + crayons= buying WD-40 in bulk!)

Microfiber Cloths- Available at discount retailers, dollar stores, and in the auto section of your local wholesale club. These are great with or without cleaners on them. Wet, they are great for cleaning the bathroom sink, fixtures, and to help get that nasty soap scum off of tubs. Dry, they work wonderfully to dust surfaces. Place one of these on the bottom of a Swiffer mop and use the handle as an extension to get up in the corners to release cobwebs and dust from the corners of your ceilings.

Newspaper- Recycle your papers by using these to dry your mirrors and windows. They offer a lint-free solution and are a great alternative to other cloths, which can leave a dusty finish.

Old Toothbrush- These are great to get in the crevices of sinks and to do detail work around tight areas. Keep one of these in your bag of tricks to make that tedious work a little less tedious.

Store your tools in a caddy or in a bucket to make it easier to lug around as you accomplish your tasks. Next week we will be taking our tools into the kitchen and begin our spring cleaning there. Don’t forget to get your kids in on the action. After all, why should mom carry the burden of all the cleaning when able hands can help?

I am looking forward to the challenge and the encouragement that we can offer one another.

Sound Off: If I were to peek into your cleaning supplies, what would I find there? Do you have any great formulas for cleaners or any products you swear by?

And, to finish off, there's a blog I stumbled upon in my search called The Bumble Bee Blog which is about gardening, for the most part, so I'm not sure why she's writing about Spring Cleaning except to rant and rave about the inanity of Real Simple magazine in a very witty way and to wonder why anyone would need to spend time spring cleaning because cleaning should be an ongoing process. I agree with one of her commentators who said that by the time

1 comment:

Emily the Great and Terrible said...

I love cleaning with diluted vinegar! It's great with baking soda for spots in my off-white carpet.